Narbonne Plage: Swimming in the Mediterranean Sea

With the temperatures reaching up into the 90s, we wanted to visit the Mediterranean with Adam and Liz.  We tried to facilitate a SCUBA dive, but had difficulties getting connected to dive shops in Narbonne.  So it was off to the beach for old-fashioned “sun and surf.”

The Narbonne Plage (Narbonne Beach) is one of several Mediterranean Sea beaches in the Languedoc-Roussillon region.  Narbonne Plage is well west of the Côte d’Azur (known in English as the French Riviera) on the Mediterranean coastline in the southwest corner of France.  The beach is 5 km of wide, fine sandy beach with a marina and restaurants.  It is a public “locals’ beach,” or rather the “poor man’s” Riviera, with all the beauty of the Med without the extravagant cost of the Côte d’Azur.  

We caught the regional TER (transport express régionaltrain from Carcassonne to Narbonne and then took one of the special summer buses to the beach. There were many other beach-goers on the bus with us.  Surprisingly, Narbonne Plage is 25 minutes away from the train station, with a scenic view of central Narbonne and the Montagne de la Clape mountain range along the way.

Adam and Liz enjoying the Mediterranean Sea at Narbonne Plage
Adam and Liz enjoying the Mediterranean Sea at Narbonne Plage

Fortifying ourselves with food and sangria (and a bit more sangria) we ventured out into the water.  Beautiful sandy beach, very minimal crowds despite the full bus, warm water with a beautiful gradient of color from green to deep blue as the water gets deeper.  There were lifeguard stations, lifeguards in Zodiac boats, and a police presence with swimsuit-wearing officers from the CRS Police (Direction Centrale des Compagnies Républicaines de Sécurité – Central Directorate of the Republican Security Companies; DCCRS).

While Tracy and I contented ourselves with wading, Adam and Liz splashed right into the sea for a swim.  Wonderful day of water, walking the beach, investigating the marina, collecting shells, watching the surf fishermen, SCUBA divers (we knew there had to be divers there), and sailboats.

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We took a different bus back toward the train station that normally stops several blocks away from the station.  However, our driver very kindly drove us all the way to the bus stop at the train station.


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